Do you love to spend time with friends and family? Do you love to try new things and travel to new places? Do you consider yourself an active person? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you must pay attention to your hearing health.
Hearing loss not only makes it difficult for you to hear but affects communication between friends and family, affects professional success, increases the risk of cognitive decline, and causes an increased risk of falls and accidents – and these are only some of the serious symptoms of unaddressed hearing loss.
Even when you are paying attention, it can be hard to self-diagnose a hearing loss. It’s a progressive condition that often starts so subtly and develops so gradually that you may not notice it until it’s already taken its toll on your social life. The good news is that treating your hearing loss early can improve your social life and improve the quality of your life in general.
Hearing Loss and Strains on Relationships
Humans for the most part are social creatures. Even as most of us enjoy some time alone we build a sense of belonging, excitement, and collaboration from connecting to people of all ages. When hearing loss goes unchecked, it can become increasingly more difficult to connect to people you’ve known your entire life.
It’s not only the intentional information and conversation we share with loved ones that build intimacy, but casual banter and silly inside jokes. This often stops over time between significant others, family members, and friends, as hearing loss goes unaddressed over years. In its place is loneliness, isolation, chronic depression, and anxiety – not only for the one with hearing loss but those who depend on the connection from them. When you take the leap to treat your hearing, you can expect that over time these rifts and sense of loneliness can start to heal, as you’ll be able to hear clearer and begin to reconnect.
Hearing Loss and Anxiety
Hearing loss not only will make you feel alone but anxious too. What used to be enjoyable encounters between friends and family, turn into moments people begin to dread. It is exhausting to strain to fill in the blanks in sentences or to constantly ask people to repeat themselves. Often people will begin to tire of asking things to be repeated, pretending to hear. Pretending to hear only will make things worse, as you will feel confused and disconnected from people in your life who used to make you feel as if you belonged. On the other side of things, people speaking to you will feel you seem disinterested or distracted and will often take it personally. Over time people with hearing loss will choose to avoid social interactions, rather than struggle through the anxiety and depression which old connections now bring.
Hearing Loss in the Workplace
It is not just personal relationships that suffer when hearing loss goes unaddressed but professional ones as well. As you start to miss more important details at work, in meetings, and through conversation, people begin to rely on you less. This has a direct economic impact on those with untreated hearing issues. The Better Hearing Institute reports that on average people with untreated hearing loss make $30,000 annually more than contemporaries with normal hearing. This is because lack of reliance at work can affect chances of raises, promotions, and new job opportunities. This can take a toll on self-confidence and a sense of independence. The good news is that those who treated their hearing loss with hearing aids in a professional setting mitigated the effects of hearing loss by 50%.
Treating Your Hearing Loss
While most hearing loss is permanent it can be treated. Hearing aids amplify sounds around you, so you won’t struggle to hear. This will allow you to heal rifts in important relationships and feel confident instead of anxious when conversing. The first step is to schedule a hearing exam and find out the extent of your hearing issues. Don’t delay to take the leap toward better hearing! Your loved ones will thank you!